The countdown is on and with the series finale of “Lost” rapidly approaching, fans are wondering if all of their pressing questions will be answered. At an ABC/Disney press day in Burbank today, Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond) and Nestor Carbonell (Richard) talked to ComingSoon.net about what people can expect from the remaining episodes and just how much knowledge they as actors actually have about the end of the series.
Q: Everyone was upset that the cast wasn’t in last week’s episode. Did you expect there to be such a backlash from fans?
Henry Ian Cusick: Was there a backlash?
Q: Some people really loved it and others weren’t happy that the entire episode didn’t have the cast when there’s only a couple of shows left.
Nestor Carbonell: I haven’t seen it because I was actually in transit to L.A., but I’m looking forward to seeing it. I loved that they got to tackle from what I read a lot of the mythology and the backstory. I’m curious to see what all the controversy is about.
Q: With three shows left is there anyway that the finale is going to satisfy all of the fans?
Cusick: Probably not all of the fans. I think that’s an impossible task.
Q: Do you think it will please general “Lost” fans?
Cusick: What’s great about the show is that there are so many talking points. There are so many walks of life getting together to talk about the show and so many issues to be brought up and that’s exactly what the ending will bring up. People will be talking about it for weeks afterwards and that’s what the show has always done.
Carbonell: I think that’s a really good point. It has people talking about Biblical themes, mythological themes and literature, science versus religion. The big questions in life – incredible questions. At the heart of the show are these characters that they created – these really complex characters layered with so much misbehavior. No one is completely good and no one is completely evil. They are just well-drawn out characters and that’s the heart of the show. I think the finale, without giving anything away, will bring some resolution to a lot of the dynamics between those characters and relationships.
Q: How much of your characters do we see in the last couple of shows? I would think we see a lot right?
Carbonell: I was certainly happy with how they addressed my character and I do appear in the next one.
Q: What about you and Penny, Henry? Will we see more of that story?
Cusick: There is a resolution between Penny and Desmond.
Q: You both had amazing episodes for your characters this season. Was that gratifying for you?
Cusick: It’s always nice to be involved rather than just hanging out in the back and to have a purpose on the show. I was happy with mine. I loved yours (talking to Nestor). I think it was the best of the season.
Carbonell: Well your episode is…
Cusick: Oh please! I do like my episode, but I think yours… What I like about yours is that when you learn about a character, the show has always been best when you introduce a character and you learn about their backstory. What they did with your character was really great.
Carbonell: They wrote an amazing script and I got to play with it. I also benefited because you really didn’t know anything about my character for three years so I had that built-in intrigue. In a way, as an actor I could almost do no wrong because I had that built intrigue.
Cusick: You still had to color it in.
Carbonell: Yeah, it was fun and they wrote me a beautiful episode so it was great to do it. Man, you were terrific and amazing. You were. He hates to hear it. What I love about what you did was there was a real stoic especially in the flash sideways there was a different nature about your character. It was just another great tremendous shade and a great turn.
Q: How did they explain to you that your character is just not going to be there for the first half of the season and is going to be a total mystery, but then when he comes in…
Cusick: They phone you up and say they don’t need you. “Oh okay.” Basically the phone call was we don’t need you except for the final seven [episodes] but you’ll get a really cool storyline. You have to just trust them.
Q: What did you think of George Lucas writing a fan letter?
Carbonell: I didn’t know about this letter.
Q: In the letter he wrote that he didn’t know where he was going on “Star Wars” but you figure it out as you go along.
Carbonell: I always thought Damon [Lindelof ] and Carlton [Cuse] knew where they were going.
Cusick: But that’s what writers do. Isn’t that what all writers do? You make it up as you go along. How can you not make it up as you go along?
Carbonell: To their credit, I think they always had the end in mind. They had to had the end in mind, but they always said the parts in between are the removable parts so you’re right – how could they not be?
Cusick: You must have an idea of the scene or image or something roughly about where you’re going. You must be flexible if an actor isn’t available or…
Q: How does knowing about the light on the island and the smoke monster affect you for the last three episodes?
Cusick: Well that’s a good question. You’re really fishing there.
Q: You’ve been playing it waiting for those answers and now you’re playing it knowing.
Cusick: When you get that information you go “Oh!” You play the scene that you’re given.
Carbonell: I think the stakes have always been there and I think the fact that it’s a light in a tunnel is no different. The strength of that thing that you’re beholden to or the magic of the island is something that we’ve always had to deal with in some fashion. It’s just now it’s been made more specific.
Q: Did you get the entire final episode script or just what’s for your characters?
Cusick: We both got up to act 10 out of 11. I got act 11, but you decided not to get it.
Carbonell: They just don’t like me. No, I’m kidding. They’re great and I’m sure if I would have asked for it I trust they would have given it to me.
Cusick: I think in act 11 there is a secret scene that no one got. Only the people who are in it, but nobody knows. Everyone is keeping very quiet about it.
Q: Can you explain the polar bears because I’m a little worried their significance won’t be explained and why they suddenly disappeared? If you could give your take on that, that would be great.
Cusick: I thought they were explained?
Q: They explained what they were doing with them, but not really why they were there.
Cusick: I thought they were just doing experiments on certain animals.
Q: Oh, that’s it? I got that part. I thought it was something more.
Cusick: You know I got asked why Desmond wasn’t on the plane at the beginning of season six. He disappeared and you didn’t see him again. People were making a big deal out of that. I think he just went to the toilet. The answers are as simple as that.
Q: If they do that in the finale episode and say he was just in the toilet, I don’t think how people will…
Cusick: Well that’s the thing. Because the show has so many complex questions people always want a much more complicated answer than there needs to be sometimes.
Q: When you got the final piece of information to your character, did you know that’s where they were going with it or did you never see it coming?
Cusick: We were in the trailer and we just debated and talked. Everyone had an opinion or had a difference of opinion on the script.
Carbonell: I never got the last act and I didn’t ask for it after because I just really want to watch it with America how it ends. I want to be surprised. I was happy with how they… specifically with my character and with what I read about they resolved a lot of the dynamics of the characters. They did an amazing job and I’m looking forward to the final resolution. You know the whole very last scene?
Carbonell: That’s amazing. Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.
Q: Was there a question of the show that you had as fans that did get answered?
Cusick: There was a point in the show where I thought I don’t care about the answers anymore. I knew what I wanted from the ending and what I wanted the message to be. I like this thing of it coming from a place of love and coming from a place of no fear. All of a sudden it just seemed a lot bigger. Small questions I just thought I don’t care anymore. I don’t care why I can see the future. It didn’t matter. It just seemed to be bigger than that.
Carbonell: I’m with you. The issue of love is sort of at the heart of every one of our characters. Yours in Penny and mine is the angst over the loss of my wife. The one central theme is that love is at play in every one of our lives and it’s ripped us apart in some fashion. I think that’s fully addressed in the finale. I think a lot of those dynamics will be addressed and I think for me that will be the most satisfying.
Q: What are you going to miss the most when you leave Hawaii?
Cusick: I’m not – I’m staying.
Q: What do you love the most about it?
Cusick: There’s so much to love. I love my life. Hawaii is a beautiful place to bring up a family. I will try to stay there as long as I can.
“Lost” has one more regular episode on Tuesday, titled “What They Died For,” before the 2 1/2-hour series finale next Sunday.